So, this can be a tricky question. The first answer is the ideal list of everything that should be hand washed if you can make it happen and the second answer is what you really must hand wash no matter what. Let’s break it down a little and try to find out what works for you.
In a perfect world, lots of things would be exclusively hand washed. At Roux Maison, we are huge proponents of washing things ourselves at home and avoiding dry cleaning whenever possible. You’ve heard us say it dozens of times, but dry cleaning will shorten the life of your clothing. It’s needlessly expensive. The chemicals are awful for your clothing as well as your health. We absolutely understand that sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Yes, you will probably keep sending your winter coat with complicated closures and that beaded dress to the cleaners. Be judicious and at least try to dry clean less. You really can wash so much of your clothing yourself if you get in the habit. You will love all the money you save and how much better your clothes wear and last. You’ll also get more comfortable washing more and more items at home!
First thing – pre-treat all of your stained items. This will make the biggest difference to getting out stains and keeping everything pristine. Lucky for you, Roux Maison Stain Remover works great with all of our detergents and is safe to use on most everything you own and certainly everything we mention here. Keep it in your laundry room, your closet, your purse and wherever you find that you need it.
Here are some of the primary categories you probably have and should really always wash at home and hand wash whenever possible and not dry clean at all: wool and cashmere sweaters, knit hats and gloves; bras and lingerie; shape wear; and swimwear. So, can any of these items go in the machine? The answer depends on your machine. If you have an older machine with an agitator and fewer settings, you need to hand wash more than someone with a newer HE machine with gentle and hand wash settings. You know your machine better than we do and how it treats your clothing. If you aren’t sure, err on safety’s side and hand wash.
If you are confident with your machine’s abilities with a gentle cycle, you can certainly machine wash your sturdier lingerie, shape wear and knits. Use Roux Maison Delicate Detergent to take the best care of all of your lingerie, shape wear, bras and knits whether you are hand or machine washing. One of our favorite tips when machine washing some of these items is to use lingerie bags and zip up each item separately. You can easily find them at lingerie and department stores and often at big box retailers too. These will help ensure that your items won’t snag each other. Check here and here for some of our great tips on cleaning and storing your knits. Never use water that is more than warm and cool is always a safe bet.
We recommend that you hand wash your swimwear with Roux Maison Swimwear Detergent and at least rinse it out after every wear. You always want to keep your swimwear out of the machine and use the right detergent. Don’t make the mistake of using shampoo or bar soap just because you’re away from home. Take one of our handy 1 ounce re-sealable bottles of Roux Maison Swimwear Detergent with you on all of your warm weather travels. Read here for some of our swimwear washing tips.
To get the optimal life from your bras, it really does make such a difference to hand wash them. Don’t be scared at the thought. It isn’t very time consuming at all and you can wash multiple items together just as you would with a regular load of laundry in the machine. Follow the same rules to hand wash that you do with the machine. Sort like colors and fabrics and types of clothing together. Be especially careful with bras and lingerie and anything with hooks or closures that you close all of them. This will prevent those items from catching on themselves and each other.
As a rule of thumb, never place any of these items in the dryer. Always line dry everything in this post. Even if you do machine wash some of these items, the dryer can ruin most of them.
Use the appropriate Roux Maison laundry detergent for each item you wash and follow our simple guidelines and you’ll be amazed how much longer all of your clothing lasts, how much better it all wears, and how much money you save from dry cleaning! You’ll love it!